Beginner’s guide to wall decals

Have a room that’s in need of some serious jazzing up? Giving it a fresh lick of paint is one option, but if you want to inject some serious wow factor, why not opt for some wall decal? Using decals is a fantastic way to cover your wall with breathtaking artwork, even if you lack in the artistic gene. And if you opt for the adhesive variety, they’re easy to change when trends move on.

From doing it yourself to the art of applying, we asked Eva Bowker, interiors expert at Fantastic Handyman, for her top tips on how to make wall decal work for you.

Do it yourself

The first step when it comes to doing it yourself is buying a couple of emulsion tester pots. After all, you want to know exactly how the paint will come out. Then you can start looking for inspirational ideas online.

Ovela Wall Decal – Butterfly,

Depending on the style of your home and the impact you’re hoping to achieve, you can go for something simple like a tree design or similar, which won’t require too much skill. But if you excel in the artistic department, why not show off your skills and try something more complex? As it’s a very different technique to draw on a wall rather than on paper, ensure you test it out a couple of times to make sure you’re comfortable with the materials.

How to apply a wall decal

If you opt to buy an adhesive decal rather than creating your own, you’ll be pleased to know that they’re relatively inexpensive. Applying is usually a straightforward job though – as with most things around the house – preparation is key.

What you’ll need:

  • A sheet of decals
  • Scissors
  • Smoothing tool or piece of plastic (eg a credit card)
  • A cleaned and dried wall
  • Low-tack masking tape
  • A ruler or length of a string.

1. Clean and cut. You should start by cutting the sheet of stickers into individual elements. You must clean the wall and then leave it to dry well. Before you begin, ensure the wall is completely dry, otherwise, the decal won’t take.

2. Work slowly. Use masking tape to experiment with the placement of the wall decals. Also, using a ruler or a length of string for a reference is a good idea. Use a pencil or chalk to mark where on the wall you’d like it to go.

3. The final step. Apply the decal. When you decide on the perfect place for your stickers, you can begin applying them, starting at one end of the wall and working your way to the other. Make sure you remove the backing paper from the piece and be sure to use the smoothing tool to stick it to the wall firmly, removing any bubbles trapped underneath the decal.

These days, sourcing wall decals is easier than ever before, and they often come in a range of different materials – such as vinyl – which makes them resilient to stains and easy to remove.

Whether you want to spruce up your study, inject some new life into the spare room, or brighten a child’s space, wall decals are an easy – and often inexpensive – way to do so. And as a commitment-free home update, indecisiveness isn’t a problem!

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